The longest U.S. government shutdown in history laid bare an uncomfortable truth: Americans aren’t saving enough and the majority of us have no rainy-day fund to protect us when the inevitable you-know-what hits the fan.
More than 70% (!) of all types of employees at all income levels surveyed live paycheck to paycheck and said they’d have difficulty meeting their financial obligations if their paycheck were delayed for just one week! That’s according to the 2018 “Getting Paid in America” Survey by the American Payroll Association.
This explains why, after missing just one or two paychecks, we heard so many heart-breaking stories from government workers who weren’t being paid or were furloughed. For example… [Read more…] “The Most Important Lesson Learned from the Government Shutdown: Americans’ Finances are Fragile”
People need to save between 10% and 17% of their income if they plan to retire at 65 but are putting away only 6-8% of their income, according to a new study by the Stanford Center on Longevity. That’s only half of what they should be saving.
What percent of your household income are you saving? It’s important to be brutally honest with yourself because a shortfall of the magnitude most Americans will experience means more than just not being able to live the retirement lifestyle you dreamed of. It may mean…
- Having to choose between putting food on the table and the medical care you need
- Not being able to afford to pay for heating and air conditioning
- Having to rely on the charity of your children
- Foregoing travel and even life’s little luxuries
I doubt you worked hard all your life so that you can scrimp and sacrifice just to get by in retirement.
Fully 60% of U.S. households are at risk of not having enough money to make ends meet in retirement – even if they cut back to spending just 75% of pre-retirement levels – according to a 2018 study from the Center for Retirement Research.
The Rule of 25 for Determining How Much You’ll Need to Have Saved
[Read more…] “How Much Money Do You Need to Save for Retirement?”
When you think about saving for your children’s college tuition, what savings vehicle comes to mind?
Families often use traditional investment and savings accounts, 529 College Savings Plans, UGMAs (Uniform Gift to Minors Accounts), and UTMAs (Uniform Transfers to Minors Act).
But there’s a big problem there. Who’s going to guarantee you won’t lose your money – and your kid’s chance for a great education – in a stock market crash?
Absolutely nobody. Not your broker, certainly. (Try asking him if he’ll guarantee your stock market investment. Get ready to be laughed at.)
Not Uncle Sam. And not the college. Nobody’s going to guarantee that your money in the market will grow. And nobody’s going to guarantee you won’t lose it in the next market crash.
And that’s the thing. This is your kid’s future you’re gambling with, for Pete’s sake. This is money you can’t afford to lose!
And if you can’t afford to lose it, you can’t afford to risk it. Because “Risk = possibility of loss.”
If you can’t afford to lose it, you can’t afford to risk it.”
That’s why the Bank On Yourself strategy for saving for college is becoming more and more popular. [Read more…] “Reviews for Saving for College Using the Bank On Yourself Method”
2018 was a wild ride on Wall Street, with volatility so violent it made daily swings of 500 or more points on the Dow seem almost “normal.”
We experienced several record-setting point swings on the Dow and came within a hair of entering a bear market, where securities fall 20% or more from recent highs.
But there’s a big difference between a bear market decline of 20% and a major market crash, like the one we had during the 2007-2009 financial crisis, which knocked the S&P 500 down by 57%.
And when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, the S&P 500 plummeted by nearly 50%.
And since this time around we haven’t yet entered a bear market (by the most common definitions), that means we are (still) in the longest-running bull market in history.
In two months, this bull market will hit its tenth birthday – something that’s never happened before. [Read more…] “Take Our Survey and Tell Us Where You Think the Stock Market is Headed”
Who can forget those dark days of the housing market crash of 2008? The vacant homes and neglected lawns. The abandoned swing sets and forgotten barbecues. The bright signs and bold arrows that needed little explanation: “Foreclosure.” “Auction.” “Bank Owned.”
We’re told that the housing bubble and collapse was about predatory lending and high-risk borrowers who were duped into loans that they couldn’t afford. The massive regulatory response to the subprime crisis meant that banks were no longer allowed to behave BADLY… so they chose to behave DIFFERENTLY.
Shhh. Your Bank Has a “Big” Dirty Little Secret. Read this Very Carefully…
The largest source of mortgage lending in the United States is now being done by non-banks – financial entities that offer unsecured personal lending, business loans, leveraged lending, and mortgage services… but do not hold a banking license. As a result, they’re not subject to standard banking oversight and can engage in risky lending.
But where do they get the money to make these loans? You guessed it: Wells Fargo, Citibank, Bank of America and everyone else who got their hands dirty ten years ago. [Read more…] “Shhh! Your Bank Has a “BIG” Dirty Little Secret – it Could Crush Your Retirement”
October was one of the most volatile months for the Dow since 1900. Back then, we were hopping on the first electric buses in New York City and enjoying a new kind of sandwich called a “hamburger” in New Haven. And, we were piling onto an early “Loop the Loop” roller coaster on Wall Street.
Fast forward to October 2018… and enter the Zero-G Inversion Coaster. The Dow fell by over 1,000 points in two days. The S&P 500 dipped in and out of correction multiple times. The Nasdaq plummeted 700 points mid-month, soared over 300 points the next week, and then tumbled back down over 500 points toward month-end. It comes as no surprise that the Fear Index also hit a 3-month high.
It wasn’t Halloween that spooked the markets last month…
Investors had plenty to fear with trade wars, tariffs, rate hikes, Fed policy, underwhelming earnings, slumping housing data, and political partisanship run wild. And as the sugar high of tax cuts, low interest rates and low inflation wears off, there’s a pervading sense that we’ve reached some sort of flashpoint.
What keeps economists up at night? One very sobering question:
What if This Economy is “as Good as It Gets”?
[Read more…] “October 2018 Was Among the Most Volatile Month for Stocks in 118 Years”
There are a lot of misconceptions about the meaning of Bank On Yourself. Some folks think it’s just glorified whole life insurance. Others think Bank On Yourself is merely the name of a book.
So, the Bank On Yourself team has created two separate articles. The first explains what Bank On Yourself is, and the second explains what it is not.
What Bank On Yourself Is
Our article on What Is Bank On Yourself? explains that Bank On Yourself is a safe wealth-building strategy – one that puts you in charge, by showing you how to fire your banker, bypass Wall Street, and take back control of your finances. That’s the meaning of Bank On Yourself in a nutshell.
But the article also discusses the benefits of the Bank On Yourself concept. We explain that Bank On Yourself is also the name of our company, and the words “Bank On Yourself” are in the titles of two New York Times best-selling books by Pamela Yellen.
What Bank On Yourself Is NOT
[Read more…] “Setting the Record Straight on What Bank On Yourself Is – and Isn’t”
In his 1865 poem “If,” Rudyard Kipling famously wrote, “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs … yours is the earth and everything that’s in it.”
That’s a big “if” at the moment. Let’s face it; few people are “keeping their heads” right now.
We’re drowning in a reactionary stew where everything from an exchange of ideas to a “taper tantrum” seems to cause a convulsive panic in the stock market.
And even if you don’t lose your head, you can STILL lose your money! Here’s why…
Admittedly, October has always been a devilish month for Wall Street. Black Tuesday was October 29, 1929. Black Monday was October 19, 1987. And the crash of 2008 happened on October’s doorstep on September 29, 2008, when the Dow dropped over 777 points. On October 10 of this year, the Dow dropped 832 points – the third-worst point drop in history.
These are the days of falling acorns and Chicken Littles! It’s in this climate – despite historically low unemployment, robust GDP, and soaring consumer confidence – that 800-plus point sell-offs are even possible.
The problem is not just the prevailing concerns about high debt, trade wars, and rising interest rates; it’s the collective uncertainty and reactionary group-think over which we have no control.
Contagion Has Become the Wild Card Enemy of Wealth Accumulation
[Read more…] “Why You’ll Lose Money in the Market Even When You Invest Rationally”
They are the ultimate conspiracy theories – the beliefs that the earth is flat and that economies are not cyclical.
The Flat Earth Society (a movement that is active and growing today) finds the notion of a horizontal earth far more plausible than a round planet perched on an axis. To their members, gravity is an illusion and objects are not pulled down, but rather continually accelerate upward.
Adopting this notion requires one to reject all prevailing scientific wisdom and research. And despite centuries of empirical evidence, some Flat Earthers believe that one could literally walk off the end of the world.
Those who think the current bull market will continue to rise without a crash or major correction are equally illogical. Despite generations of economic theory, Blind Faith Bulls have sunk most of their net worth into equities on the unquestioning belief that stocks will climb unabated.
Flat Earthers and Blind Faith Bulls Share a Common Suspension of Disbelief…
[Read more…] “Flat Earthers and Blind Faith Stock Market Bulls – What Do They Have in Common?”
Scam (noun): a dishonest or illegal plan or activity, especially one for making money
Bank On Yourself (proper noun): A wealth-generating system using dividend-paying whole life insurance policies with riders that supercharge the growth of the policies. These policies are protected by a multi-layer safety net, and the companies recommended for the Bank On Yourself concept are audited by regulators in all 50 states.
Through every economy imaginable, from the terrible Great Depression of the 1930s to the “boom days” of the 1990s, to the Great Recession of 2007 – 2010, the Bank On Yourself strategy has demonstrated unfailing success for well over 160 years.
Do “Bank On Yourself” and “scam” even belong in the same sentence? To read or listen to some self-appointed experts, yeah, they do belong in the same sentence. It’s difficult for the naysayers to recognize such traits as patience, discipline, and self-restraint – the very traits that are prized by those who use and benefit from the Bank On Yourself method of safe wealth-building.
The naysayers would rather say, “It sounds too good to be true, therefore it is too good to be true.” But if something is “too good to be true” just because it sounds “too good,” then what about radio and television, motion pictures, airplanes, and even ballpoint pens? At one time or another, every one of those sounded too good to be true.
When something sounds too good to be true, examine it carefully and thoughtfully. That’s much smarter than running away from it with a closed mind.
Why Do Some People Dismiss Bank On Yourself As a Scam?
[Read more…] “Is Bank On Yourself a Scam? Read These Reviews and Decide for Yourself”